How to clean mould from wooden window frames - key reason why bleach 'won't work' |

2023-03-08 14:36:25 By : Ms. Lily Tan

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Black mould on windows is the last thing you want to see around the home, but it can be hard to avoid in older properties. While leaving it to spread can be damaging to wooden frames, cleaning certain types with strong bleach can be just as risky. A window expert has shared exactly what to use to treat mould around windows to avoid doing "more damage than good".

Condensation is one of the leading causes of mould growth around windows and is especially common on single-pane, wood-frame fittings.

An expert at Windows Online said: "Wooden window frames and sills can be an excellent addition to a house, particularly if you want to retain the traditional appearance of a period property. However, wooden frames do require a little bit more maintenance than frames made from UPVC or aluminium."

Cleaning the frames regularly is one of the best ways to prevent harmful mould spores from forming, and according to the window expert, the simplest remedies are often the best.

They explained that while household products are preferred over harsh chemicals found in bleach and commercial cleaners, you should consider the finish of your wooden frames before doing any cleaning.

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White wooden frames are often covered in paint which will easily flake away when scrubbed with abrasive ingredients. According to the Windows Online expert, a mild washing-up liquid is your best solution in this case.

Simply scrub the visible black mould stains with a soft brush or scouring pad covered with a few drops of the soapy mixture. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and a soft cloth to remove any excess bubbles and moisture. The window expert added that for stubborn stains, a diluted bleach solution can be used sparingly.

If the paintwork is already a little worse for wear before scrubbing, use a soft-bristled brush to exfoliate the flakes. A new coat of paint may also be necessary to keep mould from returning. 

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Unlike painted wood, bleach should never be used on stained surfaces as it "can cause discolouration and will dry out the wood".

To banish deep-rooted mould growth, combine four parts of water with white vinegar and spray liberally onto the stains.

Leave for a few minutes before cleaning any remaining dirt from the wood. To do this, start with a soft-bristled brush to gently wipe away surface residue.

Then, use a diluted solution of washing up liquid and warm water with a soft cloth to wipe grubby marks.

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Wood with a glossy finish is likely to be covered in varnish, wax, or oil, but it will start to look dull when mould and dirt take over.

The same cleaning tools used for stained wood, including soap, water and white vinegar can be used on these types of window frames too, though bleach should be avoided at all costs.

Watermarks or severe mould stains may need to be smoothed over and re-treated in some cases. To do this, use fine sandpaper to remove the top layer and reapply the appropriate product as you go. 

According to the Windows Online expert, reapplication should only be done when the frames are completely dry as this will prevent the varnish from "bubbling", and stop the wood from rotting.

The window expert added: "If your window frames are particularly grubby and washing up liquid isn’t quite cutting it, add a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to give it a little more kick.

"Alternatively, use biological wash powder diluted in warm water; this is particularly good for removing organic matter such as bird droppings and plant sap".

For a long-term solution to mould and mildew inside your home, it may be worth investing in a dehumidifier to keep near the window. Regardless of the type of window frames you have, the Windows Online professional highlighted the importance of using liquids sparingly.

They warned: "If your windows are varnished, waxed or oiled, minimise the use of liquids as much as possible. Avoid soaking the wood and always remove any excess moisture with a dry, lint-free cloth so as not to cause watermarks or crystallisation as the solution dries."

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